In its 1994 report, The Rights Way to Development, the Human Rights Council of Australia (HRCA) made the case for placing development assistance policies within the internationally agreed human rights framework. The report generated considerable interest internationally and has since been widely cited.
The report recommends the following major changes for donors:
HRCA has drafted a "manual for implementation" which shows how the adoption of the rights approach will affect all aspects of the development process and the relationship between stakeholders - from institutional change in the donor agency through the formulation of country strategies to the implementation and evaluation of projects.
The manual covers the establishment of broad policy objectives for the donor program, the nature of the policy dialogue between donor and recipient governments and other stakeholders, the meaningful participation of stakeholders, the research and analysis of the human rights situation in countries to establish baselines against which progress can be measured, the nature of support that will lead to the setting of priorities to achieve the human rights objectives, and monitoring and grievance procedures.
The manual intends to assist donor governments to implement existing policy commitments to the realization of human rights. In doing so, it suggests a means to achieve greater harmony in government policy between the traditional diplomatic pusuit of human rights (often primarily understood as civil and political rights) through foreign ministries and the traditional economic or basic needs approach of official donor agencies.
For recipient governments, implementation of the rights approach means specific mechanisms for holding donor governments accountable to their obligations to cooperate, through the provision of development assistance, in the realization of rights.
For further information, contact: Human Rights Council of Australia (Inc.) P.O. Box 841 Marrickville, Sydney, NSW 2204 Australia; ph/fax (612) 559-2269; e-mail: email@example.com